Right now I should be writing about Galenic theory and the Hippocratic school. I realise that this is procrastination in a charade of productivity. I just cleaned my kitchen and my bathroom, too. My hands are still dry from dish soap.
I miss writing. Even my journal is more collected pieces of paper, scraps of life, and mismatched stickers than words these days.
My brain is on battery save mode. My eyesight feels dimmer, despite the new glasses that make the words in front of me less blurry. I feel like my vision is surrounded by an old Instagram filter, an overemphasised vignette.
When I think of the things the six last months have revealed to me I taste vomit rising in the back of my throat.
Around this time last year, I thought I had reached my breaking point. As I stepped out of the fog of hospital and breakdowns that I could no longer hide from myself or those forced to live beside me, I began writing that I could not forget these days. A sort of ‘remember where you came from‘ monument for myself.
Perhaps these days set the foundation in place for what was to come. Or maybe things are not that simple. Maybe those days just happened because. Either way, I am here now.
/ / /
I woke up thankful this morning.
I moved out a few months ago. I still have dreams where I don’t live in my new place, where I am trapped in the limbo I lived in between eighteen and twenty. I still forget that this is my house, that I pay the rent, do the laundry, go food shopping every fortnight.
This morning I remembered that I am not faking this anymore. I am not pretending to live elsewhere while still being trapped in my tiny room with its apricot carpet and walls that have seen too much of me falling apart, that have heard too much, know too much.
So that is strange and good.
/ / /
I don’t really want to talk about treatment and appointments and all that sort of thing right now, so I won’t in any detail, other than to say I am thoroughly shaken. I suppose this is all part of the process.
(vague. empty words. one day I might have the voice to talk about all of this, but not today.)
All that aside, I don’t want to ignore the bad days when I talk about the things I do. If you search mental health, recovery, that sort of thing on wordpress I show up there, reasonably high in the ladder at one point, when I wrote more regularly. So I suppose that’s what I mostly talk about.
Right now I am no one’s recovery goals. I have somehow forgotten how it all functions, running in every direction, making a general mess of things, like the time I kicked a football clean over the fence within seconds of coming outside to play with my brothers. I tried, that is all that matters, I tell myself as I collapse in my eleventh despair heap of the day.
I don’t particularly like myself either. Which is no surprise really, I’ve never been good at that, though I felt a little more at peace with my own being for a while there. Now I couldn’t feel more uncomfortable with the words I speak, my voice, my laughter, my attempts at keeping all the bad inside.
(Perhaps more this is more naked honesty than I would like.)
/ / /
I don’t mean any of this as a mad scream for attention or anything. Or to complain or whatever. I wouldn’t say I think that I’ve got it particularly bad, what I’ve experienced may not be overly fantastic but I am so very aware that the aftermath could have been drastically amplified on every axis. I am thankful for that.
I am not doing my best right now. Perhaps better than a few years ago. In high school I made no attempts to lessen the lasting effects of my breaking down, living moment to moment, giving up and letting go. Now I try and think forward and outwards between gasping for air.
Breathe in, this hurts. Breathe out, this isn’t forever. Breath in, I can’t see the way out. Breath out, you will find one.
I don’t want to talk about my ‘recovery’ (cliche, overused word that I stick on every attempt at not giving in) as something all glorious, because that is a barefaced lie.
My psychologist says the things that I told her two weeks ago show how far I’ve come. She is probably right. Right now it just fucking hurts.
I’ve had lots of days like this, however. It hurts it hurts it hurts, and then it is six months later and something has shifted.
I realised this the other day on my way home from university, exhausted, dragging textbooks and notes and my own tired feet. Without thinking, I stepped onto the escalator.
A year ago I would never have been able to do this.
My time as an outpatient at an eating disorder clinic was a mess. There was too much else rushing around my mind, they discharged me as soon as my body was healthy again, telling me to come back when my anxiety and depression were more under control. I never really got there. Accordingly, I considered it all a waste. Three, then two appointments a week, pages of food diaries, the half-naked ECGs, endless blood tests, arguing about bread, months and hours and negative kilograms I could never get back.
Maybe it wasn’t a waste. Maybe it was just another tiny piece of coming back together.
If all I got out of those months was the self-compassion to take the escalator after a long day, to ignore the extra calories I wasn’t burning by walking, maybe that is a mercy enough. (For now, at least.)
/ / /
Right now I am tired, often hysterical, feeling a little lost. I have stories in my heart that I cannot tell now, I don’t know if I ever will. I’m trying to keep afloat at university and everywhere else I spend my life. My faith is more questions than bold declarations for now.
I’m sure that will change. I’m sure I will be able to cope better and differently soon.
I don’t want to forget this, when I make it past my twenties, when things are no longer red raw and burning, when I have a degree and career. I don’t want to tell anyone that getting better will be easy, that every day is mindful and deep breathes and well-rehearsed coping skills.
Sometimes it just sucks.
One day I will wake up and do something that a year prior was too scary, too much. And it will continue, and I will continue.
all my love,